Policy for Filming & Photography

TEMPORARY: F&M Optimal Standard Practice for Photography during COVID-19

Until better testing, contact tracing and planning procedures and policies are in place, the Office of Communications will follow these guidelines regarding in-person photography. The following resources were used to compile these guidelines:

Photographer on assignment:

  • Will responsibly wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and have hand sanitizer available at every photo assignment.

  • Will take photos outdoors if at all possible.

  • If photos must be taken indoors, will complete assignment as quickly as possible.

  • Will touch as few things as possible during indoor assignments; photographer will not  rearrange furniture or move other objects.

  • Whenever possible, will schedule assignments ahead of time, to maximize photo time on campus, and to obtain temporary key card access to any building(s) needed.

  • Will not take any indoor group shots and will strongly discourage outdoor group shots.

  • Will limit contact with objects in environment, avoiding such things as leaning on surfaces, putting equipment on floors, putting cellphone on desk, etc.)

  • Will not hand equipment to another person, or show images to subjects on the back of the camera.

  • Will not approach or take photos of any campus visitor not wearing a mask.

  • Will have the right to cut short or cancel any assignment that feels dangerous, either from exposure to virus in a “hot” environment or by people who behave in an unsafe or threatening manner, or if photographer begins to feel symptomatic.

  • When possible, will stagger shooting days to no more frequently than every other day, allowing proper time for sanitizing equipment.

Camera equipment:

  • Cameras and equipment other than laptop will reside in Old Main when not in use.

  • Photographer will bring the minimum amount of equipment necessary to assignments and will not recruit the help of an assistant.

Image sharing and post processing

  • Photographer will bring memory cards home to edit and post process images.

  • In some cases, photographer may need to return to campus with laptop to access the wifi network for large image uploads to Libris PhotoShelter and/or backup to Google Drive, may do so from car in the parking lot, or allow laptop to run in Old Main while on photo assignment.

  • This COVID-19 workflow generally will result in fewer images per assignment, but more time invested per assignment. Thus, the photographer will not be able to turn around assignments as quickly as before.

  • No photos will be added to F&M’s archive in which people are engaging in activities while not wearing masks or not adhering to recommended safety and distancing standards. However, students and FPS members will not be expected to wear a mask for portrait photos.

Assignment Approval

Any open public event may be covered by an F&M photographer while adhering to the above practices. For other possible photo sessions, the photographer will check with senior director of branding and creative services for approval.

Image Approval

Communications directors will clearly establish who, if anyone, needs to approve individual photographs before photographer begins assignment. After photographs are taken, photographer will load them into Photoshelter for review and approval by assigned director.

This Standard Practice Policy may be updated as necessary to reflect most recent COVID-19 related safety recommendations.

Posted 06-03-2020


All individuals and organizations not part of the campus community wishing to use Franklin & Marshall College premises for the purposes of filming, videotaping or photography must have prior written permission from the College. Requests must be made at least 10 business days in advance of the proposed date.

Film and Video

The content of the film shoot and its potential impact on the College's reputation must not interfere with the College's education mission, nor its nonpartisan and nondiscriminatory standards. We reserve the right to review all scripts and other content pertaining to the College, for example, Franklin & Marshall props or clothing used in the film. To ensure the least disturbance to our students and faculty, film shoots should be scheduled during school breaks or on weekends. Please consult our academic calendar when scheduling your shoot.

Entities using College buildings or property as a location on a fee-for-service basis (for special events, camps, etc.) must also adhere to the College's  photography/publishing rights and permissions policy when seeking to use the College name, logo, marks and/or identifying iconography or images for promotional purposes. It is imperative that such use not imply the sponsorship or partnership of Franklin & Marshall College in cases in which no such institutional sponsorship or partnership exists (when College facilities are being used only on a fee-for-service basis). This limitation serves to preserve the identity of the sponsoring organization and to ensure appropriate representation of the actual sponsor.


Commercial photography shoots may not impede the daily work on campus of teaching students and doing research. Faculty, staff, students or visitors may not be used as models, unless the appropriate rights release is obtained and a fee negotiated and agreed upon by the individuals involved. Copies of the pertinent documents must be submitted for review and approval by the Office of College Communications before shooting begins. Models who are not enrolled in the College may not pose as Franklin & Marshall College students.

Photography intended for use in promotinal materials by vendors, contractors, architects or other service providers of the College must be reviewed in accordance with the College's Policies and Guidelines for Promotional Requests.

As stated above under "Film and Video," entities using College buildings or property as a location on a fee-for-service basis (for special events, camps, etc.) must also adhere to the College's photography/publishing rights and permissions policy when seeking to use the College name, logo, marks and/or identifying iconography or images for promotional purposes. The same stipulations stated above for video apply also to photography.


Students holding a valid Franklin & Marshall student identification card may film and photograph for course work and for personal use. There are no rental fees associated with filming or photographing for course work. Students wishing to use taching space or spaces designated for study, i.e. the library or any such other space so that its normal use will be inhibited in a material way during filming/photography, must make appropriate reservations in advance. These reservations should be made through the usual College reservations process in place for each space, and with the support of the faculty member teaching the associated course. In most cases, this is an electronic request which, if approved, will show the space as occupied during the reserved time.

Application process

To have your project considered, please review the College's policy and submit a request to News Editor & Media Relations Liaison Pete Durantine.
Must be received at least 10 business days in advance of the requested film date

If your request is approved, fees and other details will be discussed. Fees will be calculated by the College's Office of Administrative Services based on the use of Franklin & Marshall College's facilities and other expenses associated with your filming. A cost estimate will be provided to you in advance of your filming date. Proof of adequate liability insurance, including personal injury and property damage, will be required. On the day of the shoot, you must wear a Franklin & Marshall media badge, indicating to our Public Safety Officers that you have permission to be on campus.

The Franklin & Marshall College name, identifying buildings, seal and logo may not be used without permission.
​Policy Maintained by:  Office of Communications, Vice President for Communications
​Last Reviewed:  5 January 2017